a vitally important recap of all the dumb tweets sent during the Harbaugh coaching search
The Yankee infidels are dying by the thousands.
LSU's athletic director on Les Miles:
"From what he's expressed to me recently, Les is very happy at LSU and not interested in Michigan," O'Keefe said Tuesday. "He's extremely pleased with his contract and with the support from the university he has received."
Les Miles to Mike Tirico:
"I'm not paying attention to what-ifs," Miles said, before letting maize and blue color his words. "Coach Carr's a great coach, and he should stay as long as he's able, and I'll root for that team, not only this Saturday, but every Saturday that I'm alive. I give little or no thought to any other opportunity."
Les Miles on Jim Rome today:
Rome: Have you or your reps had any discussions with Michigan about possibly replacing Lloyd Carr.
Miles: Absolutely not. I am completely and 100% focused on the task at hand. We play Ole' Miss this weekend. The opportunities in front of my football team are great and I'm not turning an eye in any other direction than the preparation for this football team.
Rome: Les, would you say unequivocably then that LSU is where you are going to be next year.
Miles: You know I love this place. This is a place that I enjoy fully. And again, I'm turning no attention towards any other opportunities and just focused on the job at hand.
They are dying on the walls by the thousands!
Ok, not insane. A few weeks back there was a minor internet OUTRAGE at the comments of Associate Deputy Assistant Athletic Director Guy Michael Stevenson, who came off as a hopelessly out-of-date fuddy-duddy when quoted saying stuff about how being loud at football games is unethical.
But not so fast, my friend! The Michigan Review talked with Stevenson and got a clarification:
"If you believe that sport is governed by rules that are supposed to be neutral with respect to giving teams any advantage, then making too much noise in a stadium is unethical," said Stevenson. It would be unethical because of the influence fan behavior could directly have on the outcome of the game, by changing field position or extending possession times by leading to first downs. Stevenson emphasized that he was asked to discuss fan ethics, and referred to NCAA rules as guidelines for ethical behavior.
But those rules are no longer enforced by officials, and since fans no longer have to worry about incurring penalties against their own team for their rowdiness, fans should be involved and passionate, Stevenson said.
(Via Varsity Blue.)
The Review also did an interview with me over the phone a month or so ago; I do wish they'd edited out some of the vagaries of speech that make me sound dim, but what can you do? No, not issue a fatwa. Bad reader. Bad, unforgiving, very confused reader.
How to see. Tomorrow's basketball game against Georgetown will be the first time a Beilein team faces actual opposition. It's on ESPN360, which is not a channel but is rather an internet service. Do you get it? Probably not. I'll take "Reasons The Big Ten Network Exists" for $1000, Alex. You can check to see if you are amongst the blessed few here.
Question: is it possible one of the blessed few could capture the game and post a torrent?
Timmy B. He runs. He runs. He runs.
Update: Review interview link broken; now fixed.
Blood Battle. Brian Talpos writes:
For the past twenty-six years, University of Michigan's Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed national service fraternity) has partnered with the American Red Cross to host the largest blood drive in the Midwest, the Blood Battle. Taking place over the two weeks prior to the Michigan vs. Ohio State football game, more than 25 blood drives are held on the U of M campus, collecting over 2000 pints of blood, and potentially saving over 6000 lives. Last year, the University of Michigan collected 1,954 pints, while Ohio State collected 2,044. Michigan's campus accounted for more than 12.5% of the total blood collection in Washtenaw County for the entire year, providing local hospitals with the blood they needed to serve patients in our community. As always, our goal is to beat the Buckeyes by collecting as many pints of blood as we can.
To sign up, go to givelife.org and use the sponsor code "goblue."
Bow Down Part VI:
Die Radford, die. Basketball season starts Friday; Michigan opens against Radford, which is either a university or a way to elegantly prepare kumquat. Big Ten Wonk, now known as John Gasaway, has an overview of the league at Basketball Prospectus that's worth reading en toto. A vote of confidence in Beilein:
Lastly, predicting that an achingly young--qualitatively as much as quantitatively--Michigan team will flirt with .500 should be seen solely for what it is: an expectant vote of confidence in the ability of John Beilein. That confidence is based on what he accomplished with an achingly young West Virginia team last year.
8-10 is the shot in the dark; who knows? At this point I am so NDNation about Beilein I believe the Final Four is possible... last year! Soon, Michigan will have retroactively won ten national championships.
The Daily has an interview with former Fab-Fiver (and soon-to-be BTN analyst) Jimmy King on Beilein.
I hope they sing. This is the most important thing you will ever read on this blog.
It's that important.
Important enough to write like a newspaper columnist.
Chad Henne, Will Johnson, Jake Long, and Jamar Adams are going to be in a play. Yes. A play. It's about Job. And it's at the Power Center. If you live within 1500 miles of Ann Arbor you are thinking "OMG TICKETS HOW". Tickets how.
The price is surprisingly steep for a university production -- 24 and 18 dollars -- which is good and bad. It means that 1) the play is probably something professional and will be worth your time, but 2) our noble warrior-thespians will probably be Plant #1, Plant #2, Interesting Looking Bucket, and Extremely Large Deaf-Mute. Whatever. I'm going. I hope Chad's only line is "Excellence is good." And that Will Johnson's only line is "I'm 21, how can I be going bald?" which, if you think about it, might be plausible in a play about Job.
Miles! Miles! Miles! Astute (== not in coma) readers may have noticed a long hiatus in the "Profiles In Heroism" series; this is mostly because further explorations of the coaching pool seem utterly pointless given the sustained buzz about Miles to Michigan. Thus weekly evaluations of LSU.
Anyway, And The Valley Shook mentions something I asked about Monday. Did Saban's teams commit a ton of penalties? Is it just an LSU thing? Quasi-response in a rant about "outcoaching":
Honestly curious: did Saban DO anything, or is the entire world making a judgment based on Les Miles' team having had one subpar outing? (Yes, I know we lead the SEC in penalties; don't ANYONE try to argue that our Saban teams didn't commit loads of dumb penalties at times.)
In the comments of that post "GeauxTigers" -- if Miles shows up I'm totally ganking "Geaux Blue" -- provides a helpful link to Yahoo's stat repository, which -- unlike the NCAA's -- has penalty data. Unfortunately, the results only go back to 2003, Saban's second year at LSU. Also unfortunately, Yahoo doesn't bother to, like, provide numbers, so anyone in the middle of a particular statistical category can only be called "approximately average" without actually counting stuff out. The numbers to date:
|#||Yards||Per Game||Approx Rank||Michigan|
|2005||100||875||71.4||Bad, not that bad||30.3|
|2004 (@ OkSt)||47||380||34.5||Outstanding||43.6|
|2003 (@ OkSt)||82||764||63.6||Average||42.2|
More fuel for the "all right! a penalty!" fire: Michigan was the least penalized team in 2005... their worst season in 20 years .
Note that in 2005 LSU had an SEC championship game to play, so their raw numbers are higher than most schools. If you drop 1/12th of their penalty yards they finish like 20th or 25th or something.
The only truly conclusive thing in these tables is a remarkable lack of penalties on Michigan. Year-in and year-out Michigan is near the bottom of these lists. Miles looks about average here, alternating flag-filled years with sedate ones.
Also, did you know dude had a brain cyst? In 2001...
A regular exerciser, Les Miles took a jog one morning that mid-December. He returned home with a tremendous headache and feeling nauseated. When the headache did not go away, he saw a doctor in Stillwater, Okla.
Then he saw a doctor in Oklahoma City for an MRI. He was told there was a cyst on his brain causing intracranial pressure and a buildup of fluid. Surgery was needed to remove part of the cyst.
"Well, first of all, you deny it," Miles, in his third season as LSU coach, said recently. "I mean they told me that, and I shrugged my shoulders. 'OK, so what? Let me go.' And I went recruiting. I mean, I left the hospital, and I went recruiting."
The pain came back, though, and Miles had his moment of clarity. He stopped
Dude? Dude! It's totally deranged to find out you have a brain cyst and go recruiting, but if there's one quality I'm looking for in a coach it's totally deranged workaholism.
Braves & Birds takes a look at LSUs "luck" through their brutal Kentucky-laden SEC schedule, concluding it's not actually about luck. A point from the comments that no one seems to make:
Yards per play gained and allowed are as much a function of coaching as anything else. If LSU were a talented, but poorly coached team, then it would not move the b
all well on offense (like, say, Florida State) and/or it would not stop its opponents (like, say, Nebraska). A well-coached team doesn't simply avoid turnovers and penalties; it also does well at the basic functions of the game.
Anyone who's watched Notre Dame play this year knows that turning high school kids into slavering beasts is no mere accident. Three years in, LSU's players might be Saban's recruits, but they're Miles' players; their "immense talent" is partly coaching.
Remember the memories. Yeah... Wisconsin is retiring Ron Dayne's number this weekend. You may remember Dayne from such stellar Michigan performances as "58 total yards" and "0 second half yards"; couldn't Wisconsin have retired Dayne's number against a team he actually performed against? Was Temple unavailable?
column coming early PM.
Recap. BTN highlights:
Bow Down. RCMB:
Did anyone see the huge "Bow Down Sparty" sign?
Some UM fans hung it from the upper deck and it flew like a flag over OUR stadium while myself and the rest of the Spartan Marching Band stood and listened to the Michigan band play their Victory march. We then had to play our postgame show for a crowd of primarily UM fans.
You mean this "Bow Down Sparty" sign?
I will show you a lack of respect. If Gerry Dinardo hadn't said "Howdy Doody could coach LSU" earlier this year, Jehuu Caulcrick's postgame interview would win "least self-aware comment of the century".
Hey, Jehuu, remember this?
Dear Mr. Caulcrick,
You're in this video. Hell, you appear to be one of the ringleaders of this stunt. You're number 30. That's a squiggly backwards "E" next to a big thing that looks like your gaping mouth after Manningham's touchdown. You should probably shut up about winning with class.
PS: Ha, ha.
Weekly Les Miles opinion-giving. Game + walking + traffic meant that I only caught the final quarter of Alabama-LSU, and that without the benefit of the announcers clarifying things, so nothing too strident, but...
- Yes, the annual mental implosion of LSU does give me the heebie-jeebies. This would be more convincing...
"We kept hanging in there, kept fighting," Miles said. "We found a way to win. I've never seen that many mistakes in a game. We'll never play that poorly again."
...if LSU hadn't turned it over six times in a shoulda-woulda-coulda loss to Florida last year. 14 penalties for a million yards is not good. I'm not so much with the blaming Miles for Matt Flynn's interceptions, since by this point in the season it's become clear that Flynn's a mediocre system guy prone to errors and poor throws.
I wonder how much of LSU's self-destruction gene is ingrained in the culture of the program, how much of it is luck or misperception, and how much of it is actually symptomatic of a flaw in Miles' coaching.
We just saw yet more evidence of State's remarkable ability to bring in coach after coach and still be the same bunch of slack-jawed chokers with all the discipline of Charlie Weis at Old Country Buffet. (Zing!) At least part of this has to be State's role as the raccoon of Midwest recruiting. They scoop up the refuse of Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, etc, etc., kids of questionable character, work ethic, intelligence, or talent, and are fighting uphill from day one. In sum: Michigan has the luxury of passing on Eric Knott and Damon Dowdell, and it shows on the field. Maybe LSU's recruiting base is just prone to wild burst of cajun passions that draw flags?
There's also the possibility Miles' reputation for penalty-laden, undisciplined teams is a media creation based on a couple high profile occurrences that does not reflect reality. This infrequent observer of LSU believe this to be unlikely, but it is a possibility. When something settles into the conventional wisdom it becomes very hard to dislodge, and the next time a mainstream college football writer does some independent research and comes up with a conclusion based on actual facts will be the first.*
And then there are the bizarre results of an offseason SMQB study of stat relevance:
First counterintuitive result: the most penalized teams were slightly better as a whole than the least penalized teams. Penalty yardage, over the course of an entire season, had no discernible effects
on winning and losing. You can probably think of a situation that would specifically argue otherwise, cuz penalties are definitely bad, mmmkay?, but they're bad more as situational mistakes than an overall, cumulative drain.
It got weirder, and consistently so. When SMQB went game by game, calculating the "record" of various salutary statistical indicators like "better yards per pass" (#1 at 78.5%) and "more rushing offense," (#5 at 67.8%), "fewer penalty yards" finished dead last by a country mile. Hell, it was actually a negative indicator of victory, and a significant one: the Fewer Penalty Yards Fightin' Flags finished 119-175, a mere 40.5% winning clip and the only "team" to finish below .500. So... yeah... go get them penalties, Les!
In retrospect, this entire section is definitely the lady protesting too much. It's a concern. It doesn't change the fact that Miles is exceedingly likely to end up in the SEC championship game (beat Ole Miss and they're in no matter the Arkansas result) and the BCS for a second consecutive year. Unless Tedford (who I still heart) decides to bolt -- unlikely -- there's no one with the sort of track record Miles has out there.
*(I don't even mean this snarkily. I mean it literally. Not once in years and years of reading college football writers has anyone bothered to challenge the CW with analysis.)
Softened. Noted on the sidebar, but important enough to re-note: three important Wisconsin players went out against Ohio State and are unlikely to play next week. Starting cornerback Allen Langford is definitely out. Starting DT Jason Chapman's injury is also "significant". Starting OT Eric Vanden Heuvel is not definitely out but is doubtful (or questionable or something). The Journal-Sentinel article makes it sound like the most concerning injury is Chapman's, then Langford's; Vanden Heuvel has a decent backup in Jake Bscherer.
Biff. Cool, calm, collected. Chad Henne:
Fairly typical criticism following LSU's last second win against Auburn, this from Terry Bowden:
And finally, LSU.
The Tigers from Baton Rouge won another nail biter 30-24 against the Tigers from Auburn. On yet another unbelievable call by coach Les Miles on the last play of the game, he decided to forgo the winning field goal from the 22-yard line and throw a pass into the back of the end zone with eight seconds left. Although the pass was caught with one second showing on the clock, there is a good chance time would have run out if the ball had been dropped or deflected and LSU would have been unable to utilize its last timeout. I nicknamed Coach Miles, "Sparky" after his gutsy fourth-down calls against Florida two weeks ago. But there was nothing gutsy about this one at all. It was just a bad call gone good.
Mark May and others have also offered variations on this. This is wrong. Just so we're all on the same page, here's the final LSU series. It starts on the 25 after a Jacob Hester run with about a minute and a half left:
LSU has a 42 yard field goal set up at this point and 1:30 -- an eternity -- on the clock. LSU strolls to the line on first down and runs Flynn on an option for two yards. LSU declines to go hurry-up. On second down, LSU runs a waggle to the tight end for one yard. The clock continues to roll and roll and roll until nine seconds, when Flynn finally snaps it and chucks it into the endzone for the winning touchdown.
Watch the clock closely: the receiver hauls the ball in with four seconds on the clock. The clock continues to run for three seconds before it stops, giving the erroneous appearance of danger where there was none. If the pass is incomplete Colt David has a shot at a 39-yarder for the win. As a reminder, David is a tetchy kicker who's 3 of 6 from beyond 40 this year and missed an important 36-yarder against Florida.
Genius? Madness? A mixture of the two? Consider:
- Given the alignment of the Auburn defense: eight in the box, safety shaded over to the other side of the field, Flynn knows he was one-on-one coverage on the left.
- The corner is rolled up, not in press but about five yards off the LOS.
- The ball snaps with nine seconds on the clock and is caught with four. There is no serious danger of not getting a final play off.
- Flynn takes a five step drop and chucks it immediately; both running backs stay in to block and pick up blitzers. There is no chance of a sack.
- The high-arcing loop of the ball makes it impossible for anyone to bat it at the line.
The only thing that can go really wrong on this play is for the Auburn cornerback to intercept the ball. Interceptions are highly unusual occurrences, especially in one-on-one coverage that is unlikely to end up bailing out into a deep zone. The chances of something going truly wrong were minute.
The real debate is between Flynn's endzone chuck and hurrying up, throwing a higher percentage pass, and attempting to pick up a first down that would shorten the field goal to a near-automatic range. Is the difference between the relative success rates of a 40-ish yard field goal and a 30-ish yard field goal enough to make the decision to grind out the clock unwise? Is the risk of an Auburn drive that starts with 30 seconds on the clock enough to justify LSU's leisurely pace?
These questions are murky. There are no clear answers here. LSU and Auburn found themselves in a situation much like the end of the Texas-Michigan Rose Bowl where both teams seemed content with a makable but not guaranteed field goal. LSU ran on first down, threw short on second, and let the clock roll. Tommy Tuberville looked on, timeouts in hand, and let the clock roll. LSU baited Auburn into thinking they had reached a mutual compromise, then sprung its trap. In the abstract, it was a brilliant gambit with little downside. In practice, outstanding coverage from the Auburn corner and a timekeeper asleep at the switch made it look like sheer mindless bravado. It was not, even if it appeared like that even to astute observers like Orson and SMQB.
The problem I did have came earlier in the fourth when Miles passed on a fourth and one for a chip shot field goal that pushed the margin to 6. Going from a three-point to a six-point lead is only marginally useful. Yes, it forces the other team to score a touchdown to win but it also increases the effectiveness of the opposing offense by making fourth downs available. It's more defensible given the clock situation (eight minutes left), since having the field goal in your pocket is really useful if Auburn scores a touchdown and you get the ball back with time to mount a drive, but going for it and punching in a touchdown basically ends the game. I would have gone.
The fourth down stufficus. Some protest in the comments and from The Conquering Heroes about the non-condemnation of Les Miles calling Rock x 4 against Kentucky in the third overtime. TCH:
I attempted to make the point on MGoBlog that Brian and many others would have raked Lloyd over the coals had he run on 4 straight downs and not picked up the first down.
It seems odd to defend myself from criticism for a hypothetical criticism I never actually made, but I will make an effort.
First: the effusive praise in this space was for Miles' willingness to go for it time and again against Florida, pulling out a win he may otherwise not have had. Nothing in the Kentucky game changes that. LSU found itself down in the third overtime and had to go for it.
As for rock x 4 -- we'll call it the Super Avalanche -- this is Matt Flynn's line for that game: 17 for 35 for 130 yards. Several of his completions were little swing passes that went for first downs. That's a line worth of Jimmah Clausen. The guy was awful, his receivers weren't much better, and Early Doucet was basically unavailable (he did come in to be a decoy during the Super Avalanche). Meanwhile, LSU was averaging 5.5 YPC when the first rock was called, and that gained six yards. In these circumstances, pounding ahead in an attempt to get the first down is eminently justifiable. Just last Wednesday, the Wannstache got raked over the coals for taking the ball out of Lesean McCoy's hands in overtime and throwing fades with his crappy quarterback despite all evidence indicating he should grind ahead. Given the relative vectors of LSU's ground and air games, it's hard to fault Miles with pounding the ball, even if it didn't work.
This is different from the fervent criticism of Debord leveled in this space because Debord took a look at the #114 pass defense and ran and ran and ran even when it had become clear that Justin Boren and Michigan's third string right guard were totally unable to handle John Gill. The resuls were a 16-7 halftime deficit that Michigan was fortunate wasn't 28-7 and an extremely dangerous situation. The key distinction here: Miles was doing something that made sense. I like it when coaches make goddamn sense.
TCH's post is worth going over, as it contains fourth down go-for-it and conversion numbers for a wide array of coaches. The numbers are interesting, though I don't know how well they actually reflect a coach's aggression. There's a big difference in going for it when you have to, like at the end of the UK-LSU game, and going for it when you have other options, like the Florida game. One point of contention:
Did Miles go for it on fourth more often just because he has brass balls? Not entirely:
LSU's field goal kickers were 64.3% last year. Their primary kicker was 8 for 13 â€“ a mere 61.5%. On the other hand, Garret Rivas was 16 for 19 -- 84% last year.
----------------------0-19 --20-29---30-39---- 40-49----50+
Garrett Rivas: 16 for 19 84.2------0/0---6/7 ---8/8----2/4 ---0/0
David Colt: 8 for 14 61.5%--------0-0---4-4----1-2----3-6---0-1
Those kicker lines don't scream "vast difference" to me even if Rivas had a much higher percentage. (Also, it's Colt David.) From 40-49 both were 50%. Inside 40 they both missed a single field goal; Rivas had many more attempts.
Also, though the "brass balls" thing has gotten a lot of play here and elsewhere, there is a key point of clarification: each decision to go was statistically and situationally valid. Miles had the balls to do the smart thing. This is different than Weis doing stuff like calling a QB draw with 12 seconds left in the half and no timeouts, which is stupid look-at-me-I'm-a-genius bravado. Mindless aggression is no better than, say, punting from inside the opponent's 40 when a moderate gain salts the game away.*
*(Uh... actually it probably is, but it's still not good.)
No, not FUPA. Field Position Advantage, or FPA, is a stat being tracked by Brian Fremeau over at Football Outsiders. It's simple: your average starting yard line minus the average opponent starting yard line. Michigan is currently ninth among I-A schools at +7.8; Ohio State is second at +10.4. Not sure how useful this statistic is, since the leader is 4-3 (now 4-4) TCU and Vanderbilt, East Carolina, and Maryland appear in the top ten, but it's an interesting thing to consider. Teams that suck at FPA do tend to be awful, though.
Etc.: Beilein fluff from Rivals; Purdue managers mock Michigan, get what they deserve; OSU is a money machine; UM Tailgate interviews Tyrone Wheatley; Shooting Blue reviews the McGuffie performance from last night.
38-0. This year's Notre Dame game? No, 2003's, though it's sort of hard to tell:
Return from exile. The Diag notes that the Illinois game will not be on the BTN. I think we knew this well before the season, as Ill/M was scheduled as a night game to be on one of the three Mouse networks, but it's good to have confirmation.
Also... uh... anyone have a couple extra tickets? I am going, but am currently without tickets; given the reputation of Illini fans I would prefer to snag a couple in the Michigan section. Email me if you have a pair you need to sell.
Hockey highlights. Varsity Blue has a highlight package from the Wontario game:
Awesome to be able to see that third goal, which was a beauty.
More Miles. Michigan is one of the better programs in the country at getting its kids through school; Oklahoma State and LSU are not popularly perceived as such. Thus one frequently-lodged objection against Miles: he can't operate under the strictures imposed by Michigan. (Full disclosure: This is something I myself leveled in the summer.) Given his eight years as a Michigan assistant, that might be something of an overblown concern, but it's worth a glance. Meaningful numbers don't exist for Miles' tenure at LSU, but Oklahoma State didn't do too badly with Miles at the helm (all numbers are GSRs, which take transfers into account and are more accurate than federal rates; Oklahoma included for a glimpse at the general environment Miles was operating in):
Miles started at Oklahoma State in 2001, so the 1997-2000 cohort includes his entire team when he got to campus, but no recruits. This is therefore inconclusive, but it at least suggests that Miles wasn't completely irresponsible when it comes to academics.
In any case, these trends are more institutional than anything else. Northwestern would still graduate 90% of its players even if it hired Lou Holth; Michigan isn't going to cut back on its academic support no matter who coaches the team. Academics, IMO, are nonfactor.
Braves & Birds on Miles in the Florida game:
Bo Schembechler would have been proud of the execution of that last drive. Miles has also taken to heart a lesson from Schembechler that the current Michigan coaching staff has completely forgotten, which is the importance of being multiple in the running game. Bo's offenses ran the ball so well despite the fact that their opponents knew that the run was coming because they didn't know the direction or type of run. Bo's offenses typically featured a mobile quarterback who could threaten the defense with the option, a fullback who could do damage between the tackles, and multiple tailbacks who could run all over the place. Miles' offense has all of these ingredients. (LSU's undoing might be the same as the undoing of all of those Michigan teams under Bo: a spotty passing game.)
Depth Chart? Depth Chart has some changes:
- Likely meaningless disciplinary items: Minor OR Brown; Manningham OR Hemingway.
- The opposite of the first bullet point: Carson Butler listed as the starter at tight end.
- Probably returning from injury: MacAvoy is listed the top right guard. Will Johnson listed as a starter at DT. CGraham OR Brandon Logan.
- Probably not returning from injury: Ciulla back on the depth chart but second-string behind Kraus; Thompson second-string behind Ezeh.
By the way, I think we can officially rename Angry Michigan Safety Hating God "Angry Michigan Right Guard Hating God."
What happened to Wisconsin? It's been a weird year in the league, and college football as a whole, but one of the most inexplicable developments has been the wholesale collapse of the Badger run defense. Colin emerges from deep slumber to poke at the corpse of the Wisconsin-Illinois game, and this is what he sees:
The game stats pretty much tell the story for Wisconsin's front 7. 6.6 per carry, 1 sack recorded in 19 chances. I'm going through the game to pick up the nuances, but it's pretty clear why Wisconsin lost this game. They pretty much deserved to.
Meanwhile, last week Michigan State shredded the Wisconsin rush defense, too. And this team returned five of its front seven. Go figure.
Etc.: Maize 'n' Brew is pretty meh about the meh game.